Aprovecho is a non-profit research and education center located outside of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Our 40 acre rural campus is the classroom for our ongoing educational programs. At Aprovecho you will experience live working examples of Appropriate Technology, Natural Building, Sustainable Forestry, Organic Agriculture, Permaculture, and the interconnectedness that is shared by these systems and with the land.
We offer many different opportunities for learning through our workshops, Permaculture courses, field trips , and open houses. If you are interested in any of these programs, or would like to set up a private workshop for your school or group feel free to contact us
Aprovecho means “to make best use of” in Spanish. On our forty acres of south-facing slope, we are making best use of our resources by growing our food, processing our wood, and generating our energy. Aprovecho’s mission is to serve as a model of sustainability. Our model of sustainability relies on Permacultural design, appropriate technologies, and connecting with the greater Cottage Grove community. While our garden, orchard, livestock, and surrounding community provides us with fresh produce, we continue to seek ways to localize our food security . We cut, yard, peel, dry, and chop wood from our forest, and depend on a local sawyers and horseloggers to assist us in our processing of dimensional lumber. We harness energy with appropriate technologies via bicycle grinders, vegetable oil fuels, passive solar housing and heating, photovoltaic electricity, and efficient wood-combustion. Additionally through natural building techniques such as strawbale insulation, flat-sided small diameter poles for studs, and earthen plaster, we make best use of low-cost, locally available materials.
Appropriate technology (AT) can be defined as Technology that can be made at an affordable price by ordinary people using local materials to do useful work. At its core AT is designed for the people and by the people who will be the end users. Aprovecho has been developing and implementing AT both here on the Cottage Grove campus, and in more than 30 countries worldwide since 1979.